Yachting Malta Race Week 2024: A Resounding Success

Since its beginnings in 2021, the Yachting Malta Race Week has continuously expanded, each year featuring a mix of competitions and activities, catering to all levels of sailing expertise and interest.  The introduction of new activities served to draw more participants and increase engagement amongst a broader audience.

Once again the collaboration of local sailing clubs and related entities proved that by joining forces and combining efforts it was possible to celebrate the sport of sailing in its many forms.  From competitors, participants, and enthusiastic onlookers,  one can safely say that the Yachting Malta Race Week was a resounding success.

One of the highlights of this year’s event was the organisation of inclusive sailing. Yachting Malta has long been a driver for inclusion in sailing, having purchased several Hansa 303 Class boats for this purpose and provided local sailing schools with expertise on how to run such programmes. The inclusive sailing attracted a large and enthusiastic audience, promising potential growth for this World Sailing-recognised class.

The growing importance and presence of women’s involvement in sailing was addressed with the  World Sailing initiative – Steering the Course – Women in Sailing.   The event offered a platform for female sailors to showcase their talents and leadership. The three-part event, spread over three evenings, was hosted by the Royal Malta Yacht Club and Vikings Sailing Club and welcomed a large group of women who undertook sailing lessons on the RMYC’s RS Quests. The final day saw them race in Marsamxett Harbour.

Windsurfing has grown in popularity, prompting the Malta Young Sailors Club to host the Foiling 100 – a 100km windfoil race from Malta to Ragusa. Although plans to race were thwarted by a lack of wind, and the short race held locally, was disrupted by a thunderstorm, the event still showcased some fine racing. Veteran Jean Paul Fleri Soler secured second place, finishing behind Kamil Manowiecki,  showing his fine mettle against a younger generation of windsurfers.

The Keelboat, SB20, and Dinghy Regatta hosted by the Royal Malta Yacht Club attracted a good fleet. The SB20 fleet fielded for the first time an all-female team led by Gabriella Mifsud, who emerged overall winners. 

SB20 Fleet – lead by Team Stella Maris – the all-female team led by Gabriella Mifsud. Credit: Edward Flores

Simultaneously, the Dinghy Ranking Regatta – hosted by the Royal Malta Yacht Club, was a hotly contested ranking event with tight competition outside Marsamxett Harbour.

In its efforts to attract the non-racing community, Yachting Malta, in collaboration with local sailing clubs, organised a Cruisers’ Rally featuring leisurely cruising over a weekend. The event started with a briefing and crew party at Vikings Sailing Club. The following morning, the fleet set off on a leisurely sail to Birzebbugia Sailing Club, where the fleet enjoyed a pasta night. On the second leg of the Rally, the fleet sailed around Filfla and anchored in Hofriet for a few hours before proceeding to Rinella Bay for the night. In the evening the cruisers landed in Rinella Bay and took over a food court while enjoying the Champions League final.   A treasure hunt and competition encouraging the removal of plastic from the sea was added entertainment for cruising families, with the ones with the largest collections being awarded a prize.   The final leg ended at Marsamxett Harbour and the Royal Malta Yacht Club where a wine and pizza evening. 

The presentation of trophies and prizes to winners was held in the presence of Yachting Malta Chairman, the Hon. Mr Chris Agius, and CEO Michael Mifsud.

“Yachting Malta Race Week has once again shown the inclusive nature of the sailing community here in Malta. We are thrilled with the turnout and the enthusiasm shown by participants and spectators. This event not only highlights the beauty of our waters but also the strength and unity of our sailing community.”

Michael Mifsud, CEO – Yachting Malta